You see it on chalkboards & social media…facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. The beautiful font type that is known as Modern Calligraphy. Depending on the style, it can look elegant, pretty, flowy & even edgy. You look at this gorgeous calligraphy & you think “I could never do that”. Well, think again. You can do it! You don’t even have to have great penmanship in order to practice this popular art form. In fact, if you saw my cursive writing, you would shake your head in disbelief.
Getting a regular practice going can seem daunting, but I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be. I’ll let you in on a little secret…the easiest way to learn Modern Brush Calligraphy is simply by not using a brush pen at all! The best way to begin is to buy yourself an inexpensive pack of Broadline Crayola markers. You don’t even have to buy Crayola brand…I bought a pack for $1.50 at the dollar store!
The next thing you’ll need is paper. I recommend a paper that is has a good weight to it that won’t let the ink bleed through. My favourite is laserjet paper that I found at Staples: HP 113100 Premium Choice LaserJet Paper, 98 Brightness, 32lb, 8-1/2×11, White, 500 Sheets per Ream. All that’s left to get started is to download my free Introduction to Crayola Calligraphy workbook. Be sure to print this booklet onto the laserjet paper mentioned above. Next, sit yourself down and practice, practice, practice. Alternatively, you can download the workbook & then upload the photos into the Procreate App & practice your lettering with the iPad Pro & Apple Pencil.
Give yourself 10 minutes a day to get your hand used to the soothing, repetitive line strokes. With practice, your hand will develop a sort of muscle memory for this type of writing. Before you know it, your calligraphy will go from shaky & a little unsure…to easy flowing & gorgeous.
The reason a broad line marker is great for a beginner calligrapher is that there is much more control in using this type of marker vs. an actual brush marker. The tip of a broad tip marker is rigid, whereas the tip of a brush tip is just that….flexible like a brush.
When I was young I taught myself the traditional style calligraphy. It had a very different look than this modern calligraphy. The more I saw this beautiful modern calligraphy, the more I wanted to learn it myself. I experimented with using different supplies such as the traditional pen/nib and ink, brush markers, paintbrushes, and broad tip markers.
In order to learn Modern Calligraphy, I had to let go of the muscle memory I had for the traditional style and open myself up to a new type of practice. After trying all of the above-mentioned supplies, I found that using a broad tip marker was the easiest way to get started. With this type of marker fine upward strokes are created effortlessly by applying little pressure, and broad downward strokes are created by holding the marker at a slight angle and exerting more pressure on the marker against the paper.
Over time, in just 10 minutes a day, not only will you see improvements in your calligraphy, but you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and a sense of calm when practicing. Once you have mastered this type of “faux” brush calligraphy, you’ll have the muscle memory you need to graduate into using actual brush markers…more expensive, and challenging, but also very fun & rewarding. Let’s get practicing!